NY Closers, Young Pitchers and Fantasy Football Rookie Ranks
More surprise impact players, the NFL Draft and rookie rankings, another closer mess and young pitcher talk this week as @allinkid conquers the Twitterverse.
@ty***en: What do you make of CJ Cron?
First, it's C.J. Cron. Don’t go dropping the periods people, unless it's CC Sabathia. Second, Cron is pure power. It was a bit of a surprise to see Cron already, as he swings and misses too much. Currently, Cron has an average near .400, but it comes with a .400-plus BABIP and a .300-plus ISO (Isolated Power), both of which are unsustainable. Cron could platoon a bit too, seeing more games against lefties, but that could help him hurt your average less, a la Ike Davis in Pittsburgh. Look for Cron to be a .260 hitter with mid-teen power in about 400 at-bats. He can certainly have value in 12-team leagues but is a better play in daily formats.
@FF***11: Do I grab Jeurys Familia? Drop Farnsworth?
You can. But it's the most dreaded word in all of Fantasy Sports… committee. Just as with running backs in a committee, a closer by committee plan is a nightmare. These situations can make your head spin.
Farnsworth came in for the save on May 12, and allowed two base runners but got the job done. Familia is rumored to be next in line, but he's far from stellar. Familia has a 3.12 ERA with a 7.27 K/9 and 4.15 BB/9. For my followers, Familia's SOBB (Strikeout Percentage minus Base on Ball Percentage) is a mediocre 8.2. That's why his xFIP (Predictive ERA or Expected Fielding Independent Pitching) is 4.25. Carlos Torres could get in the mix, Gonzalez German looks to have the most talent but has been inconsistent, and even Vic Black could get the call from Triple-A, considering how he's been pitching. Always grab free saves, but I am not sure you will get more than a handful from Familia.
@Do***ee: saw a lot of your rookie tweets. Who do you like best? Should I take Manziel in 6th or so?
1. Bishop Sankey, TEN – Giovani Bernard comparisons. Great vision and opportunity plus Shonn Greene surgery.
2. Johnny Manziel, CLE – Rookie quarterbacks have value when they run. Manziel will run. Finishing with 700-plus on the ground is doable.
3. Tre Mason, STL – More talented than Zac Stacy. Blitz pickup only concern. Unless Stacy takes a step forward, Mason could pass him.
4. Sammy Watkins, BUF – Oozes talent. Even with EJ Manuel’s struggles, seeing 20-25 percent of Manuel's targets will have Watkins in the WR3/4 range.
5. Isaiah Crowell/Terrance West, CLE – Crowell was arguably the best RB talent in the draft. He should have no problems passing West, and will flash his potential when Ben Tate misses time.
6. Mike Evans, TB – Immediate red zone threat. Vincent Jackson 2.0.
7. Devonta Freeman, ATL – Great first step and acceleration. Will be Steven Jackson's backup from day one and his injury replacement by Week 6.
8. Kelvin Benjamin, CAR – Another immediate red zone target. Cam Newton needs someone to throw to, and Benjamin is atop the depth chart in Carolina, even as raw as he is.
9. Allen Robinson/Marqise Lee, JAC – Robinson is more talented and has less concerns. He should grab the No. 2 role and provide WR5/6 production.
10. Charles Sims, TB – Doug Martin is no guarantee. Sims is a Matt Forte clone in play style.
11. Jeremy Hill, CIN – Hill is a better version of BenJarvis Green-Ellis, who ran for seven touchdowns last year.
12. Teddy Bridgewater, MIN - More of a passer than a runner. Some rushing yards will help Bridgewater to be somewhat relevant as a rookie.
13. Odell Beckham, NYG – He’s plenty talented but smaller and very similar to Victor Cruz. Much depends on if Rueben Randle struggles again.
14. Andre Williams, NYG – A bruising runner with hands of stone coated in titanium (zero catches last season).
15. Carlos Hyde, SF – One of the more talented running backs in the draft, Hyde needs Frank Gore to step aside for real value… we've been waiting the last three years for that.
16. Brandin Cooks, NO – Tremendous speed, rather small. He has plenty of talent to produce with Drew Brees as his quarterback, but try predicting his good games in an offense with too many weapons will be difficult.
17. Ka'Deem Carey, CHI – A backup is always worth monitoring, and Carey steps in behind Forte. He’s similar to Ahmad Bradshaw in style. Does everything well, but nothing spectacular.
18. Jordan Matthews, PHI – Broke records at Vanderbilt… VANDERBILT! Struggles with separation but has a high ceiling, especially if Jeremy Maclin struggles in his return.
19. Eric Ebron , DET – An athletic semi-freak (not quite Vernon Davis), Ebron will be an advantage in matchups. Still, there are plenty of choices for Matthew Stafford in Detroit.
20. Davante Adams, GB – In Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers. Jackpot. Well rounded and will battle Jarrett Boykin for the No. 3 spot.
Others in Order: Martavis Bryant, PIT; Lache Seastrunk, WSH; Storm Johnson, JAC; Cody Latimer, DEN; Jace Amaro, NYJ; Austin Seferain-Jenkins, TB
@P_***rg: is Pomeranz for real?
“Real” is such a vague term. What is “real” anyway? Does it mean a player is Fantasy valuable? A Top 50 player? A Top 10 player at his position? Avoiding even more existential talk over this, I’ll say that more direct questions such as, “Is Pomeranz worth owning in a 12-team league?” are better. So, yes, Pomeranz is worth owning and is therefore “real” in this case.
Back in 2011, Pomeranz was one of the Rockies better prospects. He struggled with a 5.40 ERA, but pitched better than that, as his 3.69 xFIP indicated. His longer second stint in 2012 was mediocre at best: 2-9 record, 4.93 ERA (4.49 xFIP), 1.48 WHIP and 8.5 SOBB. Pomeranz’s main issue prior to this season was putting too many men on base, evidenced in the WHIP and high walk rates. That’s dangerous, especially in Colorado. Last year, Pomeranz hit his low point with a 6.23 ERA, 2.03, identical 7.89 K/9 and BB/9 and a 0.0 SOBB.
A trade to Oakland has more than helped. Not only did Pomeranz go from one of the worst to one of the best pitcher’s parks, he’s rediscovered his strikeout ability and control. In 23.2 IP, Pomeranz has a 1.14 ERA, 1.01 and a great 17.2 SOBB. Don’t go thinking Pomeranz is a Top 25 pitcher though. As I said, he was worth owning but not a Fantasy stud. Pomeranz has a ridiculous 99.1 LOB% (Left On Base Percentage), which is unsustainable, and a fortunate .237 BABIP that will rise. That’s why his xFIP checks in at 3.35. Still, a low-3.00 ERA with a K/9 over 9.0 means he is a pitcher that would crack the Top 40 at season’s end. Grab him.
@K1***0N: Bauer? Skaggs? Bundy? Gausman? Who do I grab?
Unless you need someone now, wait and grab Trevor Bauer. It wasn't long ago that Bauer was one of the top rookies in baseball. He struggled with walks and base runners, and as a result, coaches tried to adjust his mechanics, which Bauer fought. Now that Bauer has his head on straight and took the advice, he's once again dominating. Bauer is 4-0, has a 1.12 ERA and 0.94 WHIP (!) and has struck out 40 in 40.1 IP. In his one start this year, Bauer threw 6.0 innings, allowed one run and struck out eight. Josh Tomlin's time in the rotation shouldn’t be long term, as he'll be Tomlin-like and thereby mediocre in due time. Plus, Bauer... as in 24 is also back!
Tyler Skaggs is providing deep league value, and Dylan Bundy has potential but is on the DL. As for Kevin Gausman, he certainly has strikeout potential, but last year struggled on his way to a 5.66 ERA. That was mainly due to a high HR/FB rate, and while a change in luck will help Gausman, pitching in the AL East still won't. Gausman is a good deep league option like Skaggs, and he'll have more strikeouts, but Bauer is the real gem of this group for highest ceiling.
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